By Mikhal Norriss
Stylus’ self-produced debut album blurs the line between rock and hip-hop. Track after track are anthems for teenage angst and how much some people and society suck. Opening track and latest single Backstabbers Incorporated mixes up electro piano and crunching guitar riffs with a tale of mistrust and "the world hates me". Then there are the catchy singles Sick of This, the slightly 'rappier’ What We Do and some funk-rock with Everywhere. But don’t assume that this Auckland four-piece is just another band jumping on the American nu metal ride. This album demonstrates something slightly less formulaic and somewhat different from the 'rest of them’. It is a well produced album with a clear crisp sound - no surprises really when you learn that bassist Paul Matthews produced Blindspott’s multi-platinum selling album while drummer Dave Rhodes helped with the engineering duties on that winner. So if you like your hip-hop with a bit of rock, or your rock with some hip-hop then you really should be on 'Painkillers’. Out now on Wildside Records.